Why would you want to take a project management approach for business process improvement? In the first place, how would you implement such a system in your finance firm? And could this method be of any possible benefit to your business?
Companies around the world have seen, first-hand, the paybacks gained from applying project management methods to tasks and workflow. Once in the construction, manufacturing, and engineering sectors domain, this approach has become synonymous with modern business best practices.
As a distinct discipline, project management (PM) is a relatively new field. Although the concept has been around for millennia, recognition of the practice only started in the 1950s. Before that, the job had no formal designation and was usually done by someone who handled many tasks in an undertaking at the same time.
What Is Project Management
Investopedia defines project management “as the planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event, or duty towards completion.” For example, when constructing a building (a single task), a contractor would use any one of several standard project management methodologies.
For corporate purposes, the planning and organization of a firm’s resources would apply to the day-to-day functions performed in the execution of its business. This is a business process, a group of related tasks ending in delivering a product or service to a client.
When a business adopts a project management mindset, it utilizes every available resource and optimizes its business process.
Project Management Principles at Work
Not every firm needs a project management office (PMO) and a dedicated project manager to reap the rewards of the discipline. Your company doesn’t have to join the league of large multi-national organizations like Bank of America or JP Morgan.
Today, many successful businesses use project management tools to track time, manage tasks, and handle general workflow.
Statistics show that these tools boost performance, productivity, and profitability. Organizations without PM methods waste 28 times more money than their counterparts who use proven PM practices.
Adopting a project management approach for business process improvement isn’t rocket science, and it’s not hard to implement. Software and workflow tools have made PM techniques available to any firm wishing to improve productivity and, at the same time, mitigate operational risk.
This brings us to the nuts-and-bolts of PM tools and their crucial role in the finance industry. Firms that put a project management approach in place will enjoy increased efficiency and better growth. The most cost-effective means of accomplishing this is via a PM, workflow, and task management system.
Make Your Operation More Efficient
A project and workflow management platform must be flexible, adapting to different business models and processes.
Effective project management software will streamline repetitive, mundane, and complex tasks. Best of all, it can be tailored to the specifics of your industry and organization.
In the highly regulated finance industry, there is an inherent need for accuracy and efficiency. Because of this, financial professionals tend to have a careful, methodical approach to their work.
Along with mathematical ability and financial acumen, the sector requires many so-called soft skills like relationship management and communication. Any system that automates clerical, record keeping, and other administrative tasks frees up managers for the important work when multitasking is not advisable.
Where multitasking is undesirable, software steps in to enable accuracy and efficiency, managers can be hands-on, supervising their team, identifying cost efficiencies, and other areas of improvement.
Control Your Projects from Start to Finish
One significant factor of PM software is delivering the transparency needed for full oversight. Having complete 360° visibility of the workflow identifies issues before they become problems.
When your system has the built-in ability to track and record work in real-time, missed deadlines become a thing of the past. With centralized information-sharing, you get simple reviews and monitoring in a single location. And, complete oversight will prevent delays and advance your organizational goals.
A powerful oversight tool will drill down, providing data from your teams, departments, and custom categories. Red flags are quickly picked up, letting you focus on any workflow sphere needful of support.
Robust workflow technology gives wide-ranging transparency for operations and compliance. All-in-one management of tasks and workflows will support all your essential operational objectives, such as audit trails and logs.
These critical records of a firm’s day-to-day business operations form a vital part of an operational risk management strategy. Not only does this fulfill the needs of the C-suite, regulators, and clients with auditable workflow logs, but the visible company ecosystem clearly displays processes and well-ordered operations.
The hazard of operational risk menaces all businesses. At any time, unknown threats can affect your firm—internal hazards like unseen flaws in processes, human error, or system failures. External risks can come from outside factors such as customers, third-party vendors, natural disasters, or regulatory shifts.
Along with the obvious advantages of automation, there are additional layers of protection for businesses everywhere. The firm’s work gets done with the knowledge that lengthy audit details are safely stored for access when needed.
More Collaboration, Better Communication
One of the hallmarks of any successful organization is how well it organizes communication. The finance industry is no exception, where the worth of functional collaboration and communication can’t be overemphasized.
The average finance firm has multi-layered teams of finance professionals who work together and engage with managers and executives. Communication extends beyond teams to other departments and stakeholders who need to receive messages and outcomes clearly and concisely.
This is where a PM software system fills in the gaps, giving the firm a central communications hub where everyone has access. It helps teams and stakeholders understand the goals of a project, share updates, interact effectively and collaborate in an organized way.
Workflow Tracking Simplified
Several factors are key to successfully adopting a BPM and workflow management system. Most firms will have some single application systems in place. These may provide a helpful tool that everyone is familiar with and uses regularly.
For seamless transitions, be sure that your chosen software will support universal third-party integration. The system should integrate with any software application through a secure API that allows unlimited customization.
Using a cloud-based system lets you mitigate risk by setting and fully controlling access from the cloud. There are tremendous benefits to be had by managing your whole operation from one place.
Oversight of day-to-day operations along with short- and long-term goal management dramatically increases productivity.
Every organization needs a workflow management system that simplifies its operations. With long, granular details and complicated spreadsheets replaced by a simple cloud-based system, you can get on with the important job of growing your business.